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Here’s how Boston can help if the T shuts down for long repairs, says Mayor Wu

“It never seems like we’re getting anywhere.”

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu at a press conference on July 6. Craig F. Walker / The Boston Globe

Mayor Michelle Wu expanded on Friday her call for the MBTA to shut down major sections of the system to do long-term repairs — and talked about how the city of Boston could help with that process. 

On Monday, she said on WBUR’s “Radio Boston” that longer, larger shutdowns would be the most effective way for the MBTA to tackle its issues. 

THe MBTA:

In Friday’s monthly segment of “Ask the Mayor” on “Boston Public Radio,” she said we need to “do something big now.”

“We’ve seen the T more and more start to do some minor things on the weekends or a short stretch at a time, but it’s at the point now where we need to talk about what the actual solution is,” Wu said. “It never seems like we’re getting anywhere.”

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Doing things in small doses is a problem because there are so many things to be done.  

“Rather than try to do it a bit at a time, we should at least have the conversation about whether an extended several-week shutdown, for example, could make a difference in just getting it done,” Wu said. 

And Wu acknowledges that it would be hugely disruptive to the T’s riders — over 1 million each day among the subway, bus, ferry, and commuter rail — but thinks that disruption would be worthwhile. 

“I think the public will understand if we can get it done right,” Wu said. She’s imagining it would be worth the headache of dealing with major disrupted service if those disruptions have an end date — especially when the alternative is dealing with spurts of disrupted service stretching on indefinitely. 

She’s proposing running fast, reliable bus services as a replacement, and that’s something the City of Boston would help with. 

“Boston Public Radio” host Jim Braude referenced the woman who infamously jumped from an Orange Line train into the Mystic River when it caught fire while crossing a bridge, noting the absurdity of the fact that she had to “jump into the damn river, in her estimation, to save herself.”

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Wu agreed that the state of the MBTA is dire, which is why she’s advocating for longer term closures to really fix aspects of the system that have been neglected too long.

“That wasn’t even the only situation recently that has risen to a level of serious safety concern,” Wu said.

The rest of Wu’s hour with GBH was spent discussing Mass. and Cass and Long Island, as well as fielding questions from listeners that covered topics including Boston Public Schools, Open Streets events, and public safety in the wake of a neo-Nazi demonstration Saturday at a children’s drag queen story hour in Jamaica Plain.

Watch the full interview here:

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